BELVIDERE – DeKalb’s season wasn’t supposed to end like this.
After last season’s run to a super-sectional, the Barbs had dreams of a berth in the IHSA Class 4A state tournament.
Tuesday evening, DeKalb saw its 2012 season end with a 50-46 loss to Huntley in the Class 4A Belvidere North Regional semifinals.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting this,” Barbs senior guard Rachel Torres said. “I’m still kind of in shock.”
First-year DeKalb coach Chris Davenport said the fact his team won’t be practicing this afternoon is tough to swallow. He said the loss Tuesday didn’t take away from what his group accomplished this season, and the whole year was a good experience for him in his first season as coach.
“They’re a great group of kids. We’ve had a phenomenal season even though this was not what we expected and this was not the goals we had in mind,” Davenport said. “Coming to work every day with those kids was fun. I enjoyed it. It’s only my second year with girls basketball and I told them in there, this was truly enjoyable to me.”
The Barbs (23-5) led, 8-4, at the end of the first quarter following a Torres basket, but the Red Raiders (22-6) started the second quarter on a 9-2 run after post player Ali Andrews’ bucket, giving them a 15-10 lead. Huntley led by four at halftime and had a two-point lead at the end of the third quarter. DeKalb tied the game on four separate occasions in the fourth quarter, and Brittney Patrick’s bucket with 1:30 left got the Barbs to within a point at 47-46.
Unfortunately for DeKalb, it was the Barbs’ last basket of the night.
All season, defense has been a strength for DeKalb. Tuesday, the Barbs saw Andrews explode for 19 points. Davenport gave credit to the Red Raiders’ play, and said that 46 points should be good enough to win with his group.
“It’s what we do. We grind it out and we play D,” he said. “We didn’t play D tonight.”
It was Huntley which survived a tough first round game, and the Red Raiders will move on to Thursday’s regional final against top-seeded Belvidere North, which beat Rockford East in the first semifinal.
“We knew coming into this with how loaded this regional was and with the quality of teams that were there, DeKalb and Belvidere North, and they very well could have been a one-seed in this regional with the record they had and the season they had,” Huntley coach Steve Raethz said. “I’m so proud of our girls with the way they fought tonight and came out, and they really executed our game plan well on both ends of the floor.”
Patrick and Torres each led the Barbs with 12 points. Courtney Patrick and Maddy Johnson each finished with eight.